In 2020, there were 836 reportable boating accidents in the state of Florida. When you take into consideration that there are nearly one million registered vessels in the state, there’s not much reason to believe that this number will decline in the years to come. Every time you take to the water you’re at risk of suffering an injury in an accident. Fortunately, when you understand the most common causes of boating accidents, you’re in a better position to prevent trouble. Our experienced West Palm Beach boat accident lawyers explain.
1. Inclement weather
At any point, the weather can take a turn for the worse. And when that happens, the risk of an accident is much greater. You must prepare for conditions such as heavy rain, hail, and strong winds.
2. Operator negligence
This comes in many forms, such as violating navigational rules and improper lookout. Even if you’re safely operating your boat, it doesn’t mean that everyone around you on the water is taking the same approach. Do whatever it takes to keep your distance from any boaters who appear to be acting irrationally.
Some boats are faster than others, but most of them are capable of moving at a good rate of speed. Most waterways have speed limits, but that doesn’t mean everyone will follow the rules at all times. Excessive speeding can result in collisions with other vessels, single-boat accidents, rollovers, and more.
4. Alcohol use
Just the same as a motor vehicle, operating a boat while intoxicated is extremely dangerous. Not only can it result in an accident, but it greatly increases the risk of drowning. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to know if the operator of another vessel is under the influence of alcohol (or drugs).
5. Operator inexperience
It may look easy from the shore, but operating a boat is anything but that. It’s challenging on many fronts, which is why experience is so important. Boat operators must understand all the basics of boating, such as admiralty law and how to manage emergencies. While you may be an experienced boater, those around you may be new to the water.
Injured in a boating accident in West Palm Beach, Florida?
These are among the most common causes of boating accidents, but many other issues can arise while you’re on the water. If you’re injured in a boating accident, it’s important that you first assess the situation. What type of injuries did you sustain? How will you receive treatment? Is your boat operable? As time allows, you should learn more about the cause of the accident and the steps you can take to protect your legal rights.
At Fetterman & Associates, PA, we have many years of experience helping people injured in boating accidents obtain the compensation they deserve. Should you find yourself in this position, contact us online or via phone at 561-983-4771 to set up a consultation.
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